Thursday, 3 May 2007

Scotch Game: Mieses Variation

Scotch Game, Mieses Variation

Last week I asked Chess Tales' readers which openings they would like to see covered. One of the requests was for the Mieses Variation in the Scotch Game:

1 e4 e5; 2 Nf3 Nc6; 3 d4 ed; 4 Nxd4 Nf6; 5 Nxc6 bc; 6 e5 Qe7; 7 Qe2 Nd5; 8 c4

This line originated in the 1880's, first used by Blackburne and later adopted by Mieses, but is still being played today and has even been chosen by Kasparov in World Championship encounters with Karpov.

Black gets a lead in development and active piece play but at the cost of a weakened queen side pawn structure. White's typical plan is therefore to attempt to neutralize Black's activity, develop and then look to exploit the structural advantage.

My suggestion for learning how to play this position is to look at some of the key games. (See the Chess Tales' improvement tip on how to study classic games)

Karpov has tried each of the two main Black responses against Kasparov:

8 ... Nb6 with moves like a5 to attack on the queen side to follow: Game 16, Lyon 1990

8 ... Ba6 pinning the c4 pawn and looking to maintain the knight on d5 as long as possible: game 14, Lyon 1990

Nunn gives detailed coverage of 8 ... Ba6 in his excellent book "Understanding Chess Move by Move" where he examines the game Kasparov - Sokolov, Erevan 1996. Nunn's analysis is where I would begin my studies.

"Starting Out in the Scotch" by Emms is regarded as the best introductory text on the opening.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for these notes on Scotch opening (C45)Mieses variation
(btw move 3...exd)
There are then 2 possible continuations for white with b3 or Nc3 (see G Lane Understanding the Scotch Game).
I like the Scotch opening as White as it is relatively easy to learn and gives a direct straightforward game.As usual if both players know the variations the opening will be even.If you know the positions better you can get a good enough advantage to take through mid and end game to earn a win! Look into the other variations eg Classical and especially the Steinitz (Qh4)and enjoy!

Roger Coathup said...

Thanks for the feedback.

How do you rate the Gary Lane book? The reviews I read came out in favour of Emm's offering.

Anonymous said...

First my correction- the book is "The Scotch Game Explained" (by G Lane).
I find it quite good. I cannot compare it to Emms' as I've not seen that one!(I would like to read a copy to compare them).Of course I also like the Scotch because Kasparov played it pretty successfully and studying his games with it is very worthwhile!


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